Perception of the Impact of Fuel Wood and Charcoal Productions on the Environment: A Case Study of Toro L.G.A of Bauchi State, Nigeria
Wood biomass felling for fuel negatively impacted on the structuring and functioning of ecosystem worldwide. Consequently, increasing soil erosion, reduction in soil moisture, content, fertility, and decline vegetation cover. The study area comprised four districts: Leme, Rimi, Jama’a and Tilden Fulani in Toro LGA, Bauchi State, purposively chosen because of their high fuel wood activity. Charcoal producers were sampled, using stratified sampling methods while traditional leadership and the department of Forestry officials were purposefully sampled for their involvement in fuelwood and forest management of the area. Fifty (50) fuel wood and charcoal producers were chosen per district. A total of two hundred (200) sampled respondents and four each of the traditional leaders and forestry officials in the four districts were investigated. Apparent collapse of traditional governance system correlated with fuelwood exploitation (especially for charcoal production) and remained a threat to sustainability of forest and forest products management. Poverty was the main driver to resource destruction, as only 34% were employed.67%, 71% and 59% indicated impact on environment, temperature, and erosion due to charcoal production.Charcoal producers obtained the trees and logs for charcoal production from the natural forest and 88% of them use life trees, cutting above 40cm above the ground level. This method of harvesting from the forest inhibits replenishment commensurate with the rate of extraction. The study showed that poverty, unemployment, ignorance and lack of education have great and direct negative impact on the environment as global warming, ozone layer depletion and climate change are evident.